Apparently to bring madrassas at par with other schools in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government has now made a proposal to reduce discretionary holidays around Muslim festivals in madrassas. The madrassas, however, are compulsorily shut for festivals of other faiths like Dusshera and Diwali.
The Times of India reported that the 10 discretionary holidays were meant for festivals like Muharram and Id-ul-Zuha, the madrassas have been asked to cut down on such holidays.
The new holidays include Mahanavamy, Dussehra, Diwali, Rakshabandhan, Budhurnima and Mahavir Jayanti.
Apart from the list of leaves, the duration of teaching hours in madrassas have also been reduced.
New18 Hindi reports that while madrassas used to run classes for 5 hours a day, now till from April 1 to September 30 classes will start at 8:30 am and end at 1 pm with a break from 10:30 am to 11 am. From October 1 to March 31 classes will be conducted from 9 am to 2 pm with a break from 12 noon to 12:30 pm.
According to the report registrar of the UP Madrassa Board Rahul Gupta has said that the move was to introduce children to great men by giving them holidays on birthdays of great leaders.
The move by the Uttar Pradesh government has not gone down with madrassa officials.
Eijaz Ahmed, president, Islamic Madarsa Modernisation Teachers' Association, told The Times of India "Madrasas are religious institutions that do require different kinds of leave around a number of minority events for which the former discretionary leave was used. There is no problem in addition of holidays of other faiths, but it is totally wrong to cut down the ten discretionary special leaves."